A few weeks ago, Wilson penned a piece entitled, “I Want to See If I Can…”. It was about trying to do new things just to see if you actually could do them. It’s a great reflection on how fear of failure can keep us from new experiences.
I guess that the refrain “I want to see if I can” has been turning around and around in the back of my mind for a couple weeks, because when I found out that there were opportunities to run a 5K trail race at different places close to my home every day of the week, I wondered, “Can I run them all?”
I’m not really a runner. I’m working on changing that, but -at this time- remain a slow, inefficient runner. I love being out moving through the forest. Love the challenge of the trail and the good folks who wait for you at the finish line. What I haven’t learned to love yet is the actual running. Because of this, my weekly running mileage is pretty low. For some people, running a 5K every day for five days is regular training; easy stuff. For me, pulling this off would represent a 500% increase in my weekly mileage.
Still, I thought, “I want to see if I can.”
So, I tried.
Ran a 5K trail race in Jericho on Saturday. It was a single-race opportunity, not one of the weekly series. I ran it because I believe in the cause that was sponsoring the race, and because it would set the stage for a good string of runs the next week.
Ran a 5K trail race in Milton on Monday. It was a relatively flat course that skirted the edges of a golf course. The atmosphere was super-friendly, encouraging, and low-key. I finished third-to-last in a field of about fifty runners.
Tuesday had me in Williston running at Catamount’s 5K series.The course they set for this week was hilly. It was a mix of running through open fields with expansive views and beautiful tight switchbacks in the woods. I’ve run this series quite a few times, and it seems to be more competitive than the others. A huge number of runners turn out for the races, and many of them are FAST. I straggled across the finish line somewhere around 125th out of 133 runners.
Tonight, I ran the 5K trail series up in North Hero. Pretty cool trail. Challenging mix of field and forest. Very small turnout (of fast runners) – out of seven runners, I was DFL. (Don’t worry, I’m used to it…)
Some of y’all are wondering why I’m writing this on a Wednesday if I was going to run a 5K every day of the week. Some of you have figured it out.
Four 5K trail races in five days have beaten me up a little bit. The next one up (Thursday’s) is on a course that everybody says is difficult. Mentally, I quit this quest earlier this morning. Physically, my body (specifically my left hip, right foot, and quadriceps tendons) are suggesting that I lay off a bit.
Is failure a bad thing? Nope. I asked the question, gave it a shot, and had a great time trying.
Get outside your same old walls and ask the question. Succeed or fail. Keep asking the question… and enjoy the ride.